Executive Speechwriting: Corporate, Weddings, Retirement

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Let's Learn About the History of Rock-paper-scissors

According to Xie Zhaozhe (谢肇淛)'s book ‘’Wuzazu(五杂组)‘’, in the Chinese Ming dynasty period, the game could date back to the time of Chinese Han dynasty, it is called (手势令). Li rihua(李日华)'s book Note of Liuyanzhai(六砚斋笔记)also reveals this game, calling it shoushiling(手势令), or huozhitou(豁指头, or huoquan(豁拳. In the 18th century these games were popular in Japan. The Japanese people invented Janken(Rock-paper-scissors) in the latter half of 19th century. As for Rock-paper-scissors, it came to be played all over the world in the 20th century. Jan-ken-pon (じゃんけんぽん?), or more commonly janken (じゃんけん?), often transliterated in other ways such as jack-en-poy (tagalog), janken-po, etc., sometimes called rock ken (石拳, ishiken?), and known as rock-paper-scissors or paper-scissors-stone in the English-speaking world. The origin or the derivation of the name is unknown. ken (拳, ken?) is a fist in Japanese and Jan-ken-po is categorized as a "ken (fist) games" (拳遊び, ken asobi?). Janken is believed to have been based on two older ken games, sū ken (数拳, number competing game with fingers, likely similar to or identical with Morra) and san sukumi ken (三すくみ拳, san sukumi means the freezing aspects of a snake, frog, and slug with fear). San sukumi ken has existed in Japan since ancient times, and sū ken was imported from China in the late 17th century; the name in China of sū ken is shǒushìlìng (手勢令). Ken games began to increase in popularity in the middle of the 19th century.

Rock, Paper, Scissors: Game Theory in Everyday Life
Now you know.


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